WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City High School continues to produce a large number of college athletes.
Three more Webb City seniors signed letters of intent on Wednesday inside the Cardinal Dome to continue their respective athletic and academic careers at the next level.
Shane Noel signed to play baseball at Crowder College, Jaydee Duda put pen to paper to play basketball at Crowder College and Sierra Kimbrough inked to play basketball at Bethany College in Kansas.
Noel is joining a community college perennial power. Travis Lallemand’s current Roughriders squad is 29-4 and ranked fifth in NJCAA’s Division I poll.
“It feels great,” Noel said of continuing his baseball career at the next level. “There’s a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders and now I can just go out there and play.”
The versatile Noel, who can play multiple positions and is currently starting at third base for the 10-1 Cardinals, said Crowder was his choice thanks in part to the program’s family-like atmosphere.
“Coach Lallemand made an impact when we went there,” Noel said. “He treated us well. They made me feel at home over there. I’ll play wherever he puts me. I just want to get on the field. I’m really looking forward to it. I want to get better everyday.”
Noel was also a key member of the Webb City football team as a defensive back.
A shooting guard who earned first-team all-district and second-team all-conference recognition, Duda is definitely familiar with Crowder women’s basketball coach Tina Wilson—she’s the sister of Webb City coach Lance Robbins.
“I’ve known her since my freshman year,” Duda said. “Getting to know her for four years made it easier. I know I can trust her. It was really nice to know her before. (Coach Robbins) has told me he knows I can be one of the best players out there. It’s nice to hear someone that I’ve looked up to say that about me.”
Duda said Crowder felt like the right choice for several reasons.
“I really liked how close it is to home and I got along well with the coaches and I liked the whole atmosphere there. It felt like home,” Duda said, adding goals for her first season are to earn playing time and improve as a player.
A point guard, Kimbrough was also a first-team pick on the all-district team and was named to the COC’s all-defensive team.
Bethany is an NAIA school located in Lindsborg, Kansas, near Salina.
“The coach (Keith Ferguson) really believed in me,” Kimbrough said. “Talking to him, I could see that he genuinely cared about me and my future.”
Kimbrough noted playing college basketball was a longtime goal.
“It’s huge,” she said. “It feels like a big stepping stone. I’m not done with basketball. I want to go out and show what freshmen can do. We have a good freshman class coming in, so hopefully we can all chip in a little bit and play.”
Kimbrough added she’s looking forward to getting out of her comfort zone.
“I’m looking forward to adulting and learning how to do things myself instead of being reliant on my parents,” Kimbrough said.